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Troubleshooting

Forgotten Passwords

Q1:I saved a document with a password months ago. I tried to open the document, but I forgot the password. What can I do?
A1: If you forgot the password for a Word document, Excel workbook, or PowerPoint presentation, brace yourself: It's going to take a long time to recover the password, if it can be recovered at all. Start by ordering one of the commercial password-cracking programs at http://www.accessdata.com or http://www.lostpassword.com. If you need to crack only one document, ask the manufacturer for a money-back guarantee that its product will be successful.

On the other hand, if you lost a different kind of password, your task is much simpler. You can check with either of the previously mentioned companies, or search on the Web for many other "crackers."

Hidden Applications Lock Files

Q1:When I try to open a Word document or Excel workbook, the File in Use dialog box appears. I know no one else has the file open. Sometimes, the dialog box even accuses me of being the one using the file. The program only allows me to open the file as Read Only.
A1: If you know that nobody else on your network has the file open and you get the File in Use dialog box, a hidden instance of one of the Office apps might be holding on to the file. Or, if the program that had the file open crashes, it might not correctly remove the file that tracks the lock.

When this happens, use the Windows Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) to find any hidden instances of the program in question and end them. If the dialog box appears after Word crashed on your system, look for an owner file in the same directory as the file that refuses to open. This temporary file has a .doc extension; the filename itself is the same as the original file, except the first two letters are replaced with a tilde (~) followed by a dollar sign. This temporary file holds the logon name of the person opening the file. Delete it to remove the lock.


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